Admissions angst

BY allowing the best schools to accept more pupils, Education Secretary Michael Gove hopes to ease the annual scramble for places. The extent to which parents, and schools, exploit existing rules is highlighted by the admission that faith schools are already skewing their policies in favour of middle-class families.

They believe that this is the best way of preserving a school's status in league tables.

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Yet, while Mr Gove's academy programme will benefit some areas, he

needs a strategy for every community. For, if more parents could command confidence in their local school, there would not be so much controversy over the allocation of places – and concerns that children from poorer backgrounds are being left behind simply because their parents do not know how to play the system.